Best Horror Short Story Collections of 2020 and 2019
Updated in October 2020
There are some great things about horror short story collections. They can be devoured one at a time and ingested easily when the reader’s lifestyle does not allow much time for reading. Ideal for someone riding the night train, or working the graveyard shift. Short story collections are typically like boxes of candy. You open up, pick one, you either like the taste or you don’t, and you move on to the next.
All the horror short stories in the following list are of in normal length, and includes short stories, novelettes, and a novella, so you can select a story depending on the battery status of your reading lamp.
Wearing Skin: 12 Devilishly Dark Horror Short Stories by Simon Paul Woodward
This new well-edited horror book consists of 12 short stories including “The Angel of Loughborough Junctions”, “The Galilean Manoeuvre” and “American Sexual Lobster”.
The core story “Wearing Skin” is about a tale of body swapping touching the mythic question of immortality and sex. The author presents the scenes in their raw form, that shocks the readers and keep them in fear.
Hence most of the stories are standalone, patterns like sexuality and bizarreness surrounds these dark tales. The book is an excellent read if you are fan of Joe Hill.
Dark Halloween: A Flash Fiction Anthology by Eleanor Merry, Cassandra Angler
What could be a better read for Halloween than a skeleton and ghosts stuffed story? The authors of these short stories want to pull us from the real world to a terrifying place. These stories are filled with twists and terror, so let them scare you!
Full Throttle: Stories by Joe Hill
The author's first success was Heart-Shaped Box, brought genuine scares for readers. This book is a collection of short stories, that have been written over last five-ten years.
In this short horror collection, not all stories have a happy ending. It's not in the author's nature to give the ending we want. He writes the ending that is the truth as he sees it.
Places Where The Moon Never Shines: 8 Twisted Tales by Leon Thornton
This bunch of British horror stories lures the reader into a fog of both real and unworldly situations that is sure to bind them long into the night hours, while everyone else sleeps…
Ever feel like you just want to get away for a short while? Disappear from this intolerable, human infested lump of space rock and find a quiet little corner in the shadows? Perhaps, like a spider you seek to spin your web in a cool dark place where you can forget about the manic world and chew quietly on bite-sized chunks of horror fiction. If this is the case, then ‘Places Where The Moon Never Shines’ might be worth considering as your next snack.
The setting of these stories suggests inspiration comes from pre 90’s style horror. If you are old enough to remember those times when cellular phones were a thing of the future, computers were basic and kids played with toys, then you may feel a twinge of nostalgia for the good old days.
Don't Scream: 60 Tales to Terrify by Blair Daniels
Don't Scream is a well crafted book with full of scary stories written in first person point of view. Some of them happened in the past some are happening in the present, and some of them feels like a first hand experience of the author.
If you're looking for some stories that will have you jumping at darkness, based on everyday things it could be a good choice.
The Complete Fiction of H. P. Lovecraft: At the Mountains of Madness, The Call of Cthulhu, The Case of Charles Dexter Ward by H. P. Lovecraft
Maybe you have seen the name H. P. Lovecraft mentioned in a lot of articles about his unusual or weird fiction, but you had never read anything of his writings? Hence this isn't a complete collection of author's stories, it is a great start who are not familiar with Lovecraft's life work.
H.P. Lovecraft is the most verbose writer in horror genre, his sentences run on for half a page at times, but the imigiary world he created is unique and scary as hell.
Short Horror Stories Vol. 12: Scary Ghosts, Monsters, Demons, and Hauntings (Supernatural Suspense Collection) by Scare Street, Ron Ripley, David Longhorn
The last episode of the “Supernatural Suspense Collection” contains two short creepy stories. Maybe the last part of the series isn't the best one, but the whole series deserves the readers attention.
The Horror Zine's Book of Ghost Stories by Bentley Little, Graham Masterton, Dawn Harris, Joe Lansdale
If you are looking for afterlife and ghosts stories from various authors, this is a good book to read. I loved the chilling atmosphere of this anthology. Do you feel that ghost stories became boring lately? These authors won't disappoint you! Fresh ideas and twists everywhere and there is no simple way to die anymore. So be aware of the long-dead fingers upon your ankle!
Naturally there is huge competition in the genre of horror short story collections. There are countless anthologies by the likes of Steven King and Dean Koonts, and countless more written by unpublished, unheard of authors. From the grassroots to the top you will find exceptional and talented writers in this category, making it very hard for those aspiring authors to rise up from the quagmire and be noticed. Occasionally after sifting through piles of books, the reader will find a gem that stands out from the rest and take a chance on it. Maybe you have just discovered one.